In recent years, Intuit’s QuickBooks has emerged as a popular software package for business accounting. If you accept credit cards through QuickBooks merchant services, however, you know they come with a high cost. One thing you may not be aware of is that inputting your sales data into QuickBooks doesn’t stop you from using a lower cost processing option.
That way, you get the best of both worlds: reasonably priced credit card processing and the convenience of Quickbooks. The only question is which processor you should use. Different processors use different integration methods, and some of them may not work with your version of Quickbooks. Here are the main ways to get your data into QuickBooks.
Compatible POS Systems
This type of integration doesn’t give you a lot of choices. Your QuickBooks software must be compatible with the point-of-sale software, and your payment processor must support it as well. You do have access to a database of services that you can integrate with QuickBooks, but the options for POS systems are very limited.
For example, let’s say you want to use QuickBooks in the accounting department of a retail store. After visiting Intuit’s database of compatible solutions, it turns out that your only option for POS software is AccuPOS. In this case, you’ll have to buy a bundle containing AccuPOS software on a touchscreen POS system. You’ll also buy QuickBooks accounting software.
Then, you’ll need to get a merchant account from a processor that supports AccuPOS. You’ll only have two options: an account from Mercury Payment Solutions or directly from AccuPOS. With no real competition, neither Mercury nor AccuPOS have any reason to offer you competitive pricing. In other words, negotiating a better deal is near impossible.
Plugins and Gateway Integration
This option saves you the most time and eliminates the risk of human error. Plugins and gateway integration also provide a lot of choice in terms of equipment without requiring technical knowledge. The two main integration options are real-time (working within QuickBooks) and daily syncing (the plugin or gateway syncs your transactions at the end of the day).
Real-time plugins let you record and initiate payments while QuickBooks is open. When you create an invoice in QuickBooks, you’d be able to enter payment details in the plugin window. There are plenty of popular real-time plugins, and you can get them from gateway developers, processors, and third-party vendors. They require a compatible gateway to work.
With automatic syncing, the solution matches fields in your QuickBooks account with the fields in the gateway or payment solution. This ensures that data gets recorded in the correct place. Many popular gateways — such as NMI or Authorize.net — offer syncing for QuickBooks.
Though some small businesses won’t feel the need to upgrade from the standard import/export, it’s fair to say that plugins and gateway integration offer a better experience. They don’t require advanced technical knowledge, and the sheer availability of plugins ensures that most processors and gateways offer integration.